A study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery showed diabetes patients who were on statin therapy had a 35% to 43% lower risk of lower extremity amputation or treatment failure than statin non-users. Researchers also found those who used other cholesterol-lowering drugs had a 41% reduced risk of treatment failure but did not show significant difference in amputation risk.
The use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs among patients with chronic hepatitis C was associated with a decreased risk of liver cancer, according to a study of around 261,000 patients in Taiwan. The reductions were modest, but the findings could address possible concerns about prescribing statins to patients with liver disease, a U.S. researcher commented. The study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Some 33 million Americans would be eligible to take cholesterol-lowering statin medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes if guidelines were based on new study results, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Their study found up to 6.5 million people who have low cholesterol but high levels of a blood marker for inflammation would be included in that group.
Two separate studies take doctors to task for not giving high-risk patients cholesterol-lowering statins as often as they should and for giving their patients more expensive medicine than is needed to treat their high blood pressure. The cholesterol study found doctors became less aggressive with statins as elderly patients' risk of death increased, while the second study found doctors prescribed expensive drugs more than they should, perhaps because of drug company marketing, one researcher said.